Colonial Key Fantasy Stats

Charles Schwab Challenge

May 23rd – 26th, 2019

Colonial C.C.

Fort Worth, TX

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,209

Purse: $7.3 million

with $1,314,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Justin Rose

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:

This is based on the most important stats for Colonial, based on data from last years Charles Schwab Challenge, and using data from all the players in the field with stats from 2019. What we do is take their rank for each stat and then add up the four categories.

The scoring average of the field at Colonial in 2018 was 69.83 making it T-20th. Conditions were very favorable with mild wind and soft course. In 2017 Colonial was 71.15 (lot’s of wind every day) making it the 7th hardest course on Tour that year as the course played over a shot a round over par. In 2016 Colonial was 70.20 making it the 18th hardest course on the PGA Tour, a quarter of a shot over par and almost a half a shot harder that the course played in 2015 when it was 69.78 and the 21st hardest course to score on in 2015. So why the difference? Rain and wind, in 2015 they had flooding conditions the week before the tournament and the course was very wet. On top of that winds averaged between 10-15 mph. In 2016 the course didn’t have as much rain and winds blew up to 20 mph the first three days and calmed a bit for the final round. But in 2017 winds blew each day at around 20 mph which made the course play very tough, a matter of fact the hardest it’s played since 2002 when the course played to a 71.21 average and ranked 6th on tour.

Colonial Country Club is a relic to a bygone era in which accuracy off the tee, precision shot-making to the greens is important. On top of that when the course is dry and runs, put in some wind and it can play really tough, kind of like last week with Bethpage which was a bear on Sunday with the wind. But with no wind, wet conditions you will see a lot of birdies and eagles and that’s what has happened over the years. You can’t overpower this course, that’s why you won’t see long ball hitters like Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Gary Woodland, Luke List and J.B. Holmes here.

Every great shotmaker from the last 72 years has won at Colonial with Justin Rose being added to the list which includes Hogan, Nicklaus, Snead, Boros, Littler, Wadkins, Price, Trevino, Casper, Watson, Scott and Mickelson to name a few. Most important stat to look at is Ball Striking (which the PGA Tour doesn’t include in course stats), looking at the list for 2019 the odds are a player in the top-30 of that list.

So who will win this week? Tell you this, it will be a guy with a lot of fitness and a sharp iron player. So why is this so important in a time when overpowering courses is the norm? There is no room to add yardage to Colonial. Since the course opened in 1946, only 169 yards have been added. With 12 of the 14 par 4s and 5s being doglegs, players have to throttle back and hit fairway woods and irons to keep it in play, especially when the course is dry with a lot of run. So hitting it long gives you no advantage because length means nothing when you have to lay up, so short drivers will be in the same part of the fairway as long hitters. That is the reason why players like Corey Pavin, Rory Sabbatini, Steve Stricker, David Toms, and Zach Johnson have won this event. Look at Kenny Perry, Tom Purtzer and David Toms for example, they all have passed on playing the Senior PGA Championship because he feels he can play better at Colonial, that just shows what kind of winners Colonial produces.

In looking at our four categories, Fairway Accuracy is important, last year Colonial was the 17th hardest course to get into the fairway, while last years winner Justin Rose was T-6th in fairway hit. Our second stat is greens in regulation, last year Colonial ranked 22nd while Rose rank 1st in this stat hitting 57 of 72 greens. Our third stat is Par Breakers, last year Colonial ranked 20th overall while Rose was T-1st in this stat. Our last stat is Strokes-Gained Putting as Rose was 21st in this stat. As for Colonial, they don’t keep track of that stat tournament wise, but I can tell you this, six of the last 17 winners have led in total number of strokes so putting is very important.

Now another important element for this year is the weather, last year it was good, but for this week coming up will see temperatures in the low 90s but each day with winds in the 15 to 20 mph range, so look for tough conditions and scoring going up.

*Fairway Accuracy: Percentage of times a drive is in the fairway.
*Greens in regulation: Tells us which players hit the most greens during the week
*Par Breakers: The course allows a lot of birdies and eagles to be made, so Parbreakers is the percent of time scores are under par.
*Strokes Gained Putting: The number of putts a player takes from a specific distance is measured against a statistical baseline to determine the player’s strokes gained or lost on a hole.

The 110 of the 122 players from this year’s field with stats from 2019:

Click any column title in the table header to sort columns.

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